To get back to Ugarit. Almost every popular account of the City's fall mentions a clay tablet found in the ruins of the palace, a copy of a letter that the last king of the city, Ammurapi, wrote to the King of Alashiya that reads something like this:
My father, behold, the enemy's ships came (here); my cities(?) were burned, and they did evil things in my country. Does not my father know that all my troops and chariots(?) are in the Land of Hatti, and all my ships are in the Land of Lukka? ... Thus, the country is abandoned to itself. May my father know it: the seven ships of the enemy that came here inflicted much damage upon us.
But I just learned, from Eric Kline's 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (2014) that this is just one of several hundred surviving letters sent to or by Ugarit's kings, ministers, scribes, and leading merchants in the last century of the city's existence. Among them are two responses to King Ammurapi's pleas for help. One comes from the King of Alashiya, which most scholars place in Cyprus:
As for the matter concerning those enemies: (it was) the people from your country (and) your own ships (who) did this! And (it was) the people from your country (who) committed these transgression(s)...I am writing to inform you and protect you. Be aware!
So perhaps this was more of a rebellion than an invasion. And whoever was making the trouble, the Hittite governor of Carchemish was not impressed:
You write to say that ships of the enemy have been sighted. You should reinforce your walls, bring your soldiers and chariots into the city, and stand firm.
I mean, this happened 3200 years ago, and we can trace out, letter by letter, the alarms raised by the people in threatened cities and the unhelpful responses that came from elsewhere.
- The powerful state of Ahhiyawa, which many equate to Homer's Achaeans, attacked and destroyed Troy as part of its long-running struggle with the Hittites for power in western Anatolia, but this was its last act as a major power before it sank in oblivion, and perhaps this war weakened it and helped cause its fall, as Homer implies.
- Actually Troy was destroyed by the same people or forces that destroyed Mycenae, and Homer was confused about this;
- Homer was just a blind old fantasist, so please shut up about his stupid 10-year-war and his wooden horse and stop asking archaeologists to find the remains of his imaginings in the ground. While you're at it, stop looking for Atlantis.
Meanwhile the Old Testament tells us that the Israelites conquered their lands west of the Dead Sea at about this time, which was probably only possible because Egypt had retreated from the area after various defeats that weakened it, leaving a power vacuum. The first mention of Israel or Judah outside the Bible is an Egyptian inscription we date to 1207 BC.